Montreal Canadiens: Bob McKenzie’s Ranking Gives Sneak Peak To Habs Potential Next Top Pick

BASEL, SWITZERLAND - APRIL 29: Cole Eiserman of United States in actionduring the semi final of U18 Ice Hockey World Championship match between United States and Slovakia at St. Jakob-Park on April 29, 2023 in Basel, Switzerland. (Photo by Jari Pestelacci/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
BASEL, SWITZERLAND - APRIL 29: Cole Eiserman of United States in actionduring the semi final of U18 Ice Hockey World Championship match between United States and Slovakia at St. Jakob-Park on April 29, 2023 in Basel, Switzerland. (Photo by Jari Pestelacci/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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BASEL, SWITZERLAND – APRIL 30: Macklin Celebrini. (Photo by Jari Pestelacci/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
BASEL, SWITZERLAND – APRIL 30: Macklin Celebrini. (Photo by Jari Pestelacci/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Number 1 and 2 Ranked Prospects

Macklin Celebrini

Macklin Celebrini makes you think of a smart two-way centre, and according to TSN Head Director of Scouting Craig Button, he is most comparable to Jonathan Toews stylistically. Macklin Celebrini is a smidge under 6 feet tall and physically he still has some room to grow, but at 17 years old, he is already 190 lbs and he has a full season to grow both on the ice and in the weight room. The tangible skills are undeniable and he has a toolkit that projects as a very good number-one centre at the NHL level and he doesn’t really have any glaring holes in his game.

After a dominant rookie season with the USHL’s Chicago Steel saw the Vancouver, BC native post 86 points (46 goals and 40 assists) through 50 games, Celebrini will play his rookie NCAA season with Boston University. Touted as the consensus number-one ranked prospect for the 2024 Draft, Celebrini has a massive year ahead of him, and the Terriers’ supporting cast should help him transition to the college level swimmingly. Headlined by Canadiens prospect Lane Hutson, he and Celebrini could really boost an already quality power play. He showed an ability to perform on the biggest stage, the under-18’s, and emerged as a leader for the young Canadian squad posting six-nine-15 totals through seven games, helping his squad secure a Bronze Medal.

Cole Eiserman

Cole Eiserman is a prototypical goalscorer, and he does it with more than just one shot type. He can devastate goalies with a one-timer, his snap-shot is powerful and accurate, and his wrist shot leaps off his blade, which paired with a great release makes him a constant threat in the attacking zone. Aiding his shooting abilities are his wonderful puck skills and his offensive IQ which help him in working the give-and-go, or moving the puck around the offensive zone with deft passes. A knock on Eiserman is that his skating isn’t really deceptive or explosive, which could hold him back from reaching his full potential.

Worry not, however, as he still has another full season with the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP), as he is a late birthday, having just turned 17 years old on Aug.26. He has another year to work on his defensive game and get stronger, which will only improve his overall game and hopefully allow his skating to grow to another level. He projects as a top-line goalscoring winger at the NHL level, and he has a knack for finding the soft areas, to exploit great scoring chances. Eiserman would partner with Cole Caufield to give the Canadiens a pair of fantastic goal scorers.